March 18-20, 2016

mending & collecting memory: book arts
Doug baulos

Using  mixed media paper we will fabricate a ‘formal’ codex book with rigid covers and a historic Coptic/sewn on tapes binding. Knowledge of this flexible book form will allow for a great deal of future spontaneous play. Endless possibilities of spine work will be demonstrated and discussed. We will explore 20+ drawing, watercolor, paper making and transfer techniques and combine our pieces into a experimental codex.  Image transfer is a highly used technique in mixed media, collage, and watercolor art today.   Students will also experiment widely with a selection of wet media and other historical and innovative approaches to developing works on paper & other grounds.  Students will first be guided in creating innovative works by learning to combine familiar techniques with new approaches and conventional media with unusual formats and surfaces. They then progress to investigating and experimenting with non-traditional materials and methodologies so that they may develop their own personal thematic subjects and/or conceptual aesthetic on page spreads that will then be bound into a book that they can work further into.  Students are encouraged to bring, use and experiment widely with materials, images and types of paper.

Class Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Doug Baulos received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

He regularly teaches workshops and lectures on his research in book arts, drawing and mixed media. In 2009 Baulos won the President’s Award For Excellence In Teaching at UAB.

His current books are explorations (visual) and meditations (poetry) centering on his ideas of spirituality, love, death, shelter, and hope. Books, because of their exterior/interior format, as well as their sequential ordering, have been of particular interest lately. The book as an object allows the viewer to be guided through a thought process as well as evoking time and journey/text and image in an intimate fashion. Drawings are composed of myriad layers of media, ideas and associations. The process of piecing together an image is a meditative exercise, having as much to do with duration as physical texture or of following the thread of mindfulness. The abstraction of narrative is merged with the physicality of objects.  As an artist Baulos wants to personify intangible experiences and feelings and make them tangible for an audience. There is an intimacy with the subject becoming object, with the reverence for the passed life and the confrontation of the doggedly present body. Retired objects (most recently dictionaries) and found papers are redeployed as agent of memory that can evoke and reflect on the history of private lives – worn and battered, certain found object evoke sympathy and empathy.  Like a dog without a tail we notice an object or book’s history and pluck as survivor. Recently the work explores the idea of simultaneously linking the outside surface with inner experience, seeking to create books and sculptures that present themselves as humble objects that open into vast, imaginative space for the reader. By using discarded dictionaries (nests of birds) and transforming them into book sculptures, text and drawn images explode into an embodied narrative, a sculpture of our inner life.
He regularly teaches workshops and lectures on his research in book arts, drawing and mixed media. In 2009 Baulos won the President’s Award For Excellence In Teaching at UAB.

hand marbling paper
pat k. thomas

Interaction between color and pattern creates a visual language.  Historic marbling designs can be dated centuries back in time.  Yet, with a few twists, what is archaic becomes excitingly contemporary.

Marbling also encompasses a physical language.  Certain movements with simple tools in sequence predicts order over what seems like chaos on the surface of the tray.

Marbling draws on cultural language from many countries.  Names of some of the traditional patterns derive from specific locales from many points on the globe.  Particular materials necessary for marbling are a subset of most art projects--  unusual and not readily available from traditional sources.  

All of these wordless languages combine together in marbling in the artistic field of book arts.  Marbling and bookbinding are natural partners forming books for ideas, images, concepts and words.

Workshop participants will engage and become fluent in all the levels of language that marbling requires.  Recipes for the thickened liquid, paint formula, measurement for alum will be discussed and practiced.  The visual color and pattern of marbling will be interpreted in balletic hand movements to create traditional designs.  The repetition of these marbling sequences become familiar as each new pattern and skill is explored.

This weekend will yield original marbled papers in many different weights and types of papers.  These original marbled papers can be used in bookbinding, multi-media projects, cards, calligraphy-- or art to be framed.

Class Level: Beginner to Advanced

Pat. K. Thomas is a full-time studio artist and partner in the historic Cliff Dwellers Gallery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Pat teaches at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee,  John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina and privately. 

Soul to stage: THe life of a song
louisa branscomb & Claire lynch

The job of a song is to capture a unique idea or feeling, then preserve that magic through structure in a way that it goes full circle to reaching the heart of the listener.

In this dynamic and interactive workshop, Louisa and Claire will present interactive discussion with musical examples, exercises, and structured writing opportunities to work with the process of inspiration to execution of the song, with inspiration and impact. 

Class Level: Beginner to Advanced

Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. She was the 2013 Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and a 2012 recipient of the United States Artists Walker Fellowship. Her career has been decorated with many other accolades including two GRAMMY nominations and three International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist awards in 2010 and 1997.   Recently, at the 2014 IBMA Awards, she received two trophies: "Song of the Year" for Dear Sister, a co-write with Louisa Branscomb and title cut of her latest Compass Records release; and "Recorded Event of the Year" for a guest vocal appearance with Special Consensus on Country Boy; A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver (Wild Montana Skies).
Dolly Parton credits Claire with "one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today." Claire's harmonies have graced the recordings of many stellar musicians. Equally gifted as a songwriter, her songs have been recorded by The Seldom Scene, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes, The Whites and others. 

Louisa Branscomb penned her first song at age 6, and won her first songwriting composition at age 11, garnering a performance with the Birmingham Symphony on her piece. By age 20 she had written her first 300 songs, and by1973 she had become the first woman in bluegrass to contribute the bulk of a band’s original material to her group, and one of the first women to front a band playing banjo. To date, Louisa has over 175 songs recorded in Americana, bluegrass and country by greats including Claire Lynch, Alison Krauss, John Denver, and Dale Ann Bradley and 11 albums of her own, or mostly her own material. A short list of accolades includes: Atlanta Music Hall of Honor, two IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Awards, Winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (Merlfest), SPBGMA Song of the Year (Steel Rails), Nominations for Songwriter of the Year (IBMA, SPBGMA), numerous chart hits in Bluegrass and< Americana music, and the current IBMA Song of the Year, “Dear Sister,” penned with and performed by Claire Lynch.

Louisa has evolved a paradigm of mentoring songwriters through retreats at her Songwriting Retreat, Woodsong Farm, over the last 25 year. She combines her careers in the study of creativity as a psychologist with her musical career as a mentor, where she has personally mentored over 300 songwriters. Dr. Branscomb owns Porch Song Productions, whose mission it is to promote and educate songwriters while also using songwriting to build community and cross individual differences. Most recently, Louisa produced a successful first year community based songwriter festival in Southport, NC.

In addition to hats as performer, songwriter, mentor, free lance writer, producer and event producer, Louisa owns Millwheel Music Publishing. She accepts select songs from other writers in her catalogue as part of supporting other songwriters in their work, and works with writers toward their success in presentation and pitching as a part of accepting their work.

Termed “the” pioneer in bluegrass songwriting (Lance LeRoy), a “giant” among bluegrass songwriters (Chris Jones), and a trailblazer for women in acoustic music, Louisa prefers the farm life to the fast lane, where she finds bush hogging on her John Deere at sunset a continual source of inspiration.